Police have ruled out any foul play or terror angle in the incident, saying the 37-year-old farmer Mukesh was carrying the chemical powder, which is generally used to scare away birds and stray animals from fields by causing an explosion.
“Last night, Mukesh, who hails from Jandli Kalan in Fatehabad was arrested. He had taken 200 acre of land on lease and wanted to use the chemical powder comprising potash and sulphur to trigger the explosion to scare away stray animals and birds.“On that day, he was carrying the same in a bottle in his pocket. However, the bottle got heated up on its own and burst resulting in the explosion,” Fatehabad’s SP O P Narwal said on Thursday.
He said Mukesh, who had been booked under relevant provisions of law including carrying dangerous chemical in a negligent manner, endangering lives of others, fell down inside the bus after the explosion.
“There was commotion in the bus. Mukesh told us that his ‘kurta’ got burnt in the process. Scared, he got down from the bus and entered the fields and started running. He threw his burnt kurta in the fields, which was later recovered by the police.
“The man was scared and when somebody told him that many people had been killed in the explosion he tried to attempt suicide that night, but his mother who was awake prevented him from taking such a step,” Narwal said giving details.
“It was sheer negligence on part of this man, who will now have to face law,” he said.
He said that after the incident the police had been questioning several people and once they got vital leads, they zeroed-in on the accused.
The explosion took place at around 11 am near Bhuna when the bus was on its way from Jakhal to Fatehabad.
A couple had sustained injuries in the incident. The incident had caused panic, since it came two weeks after a low-intensity blast took place in a state-run bus near Pipli in Kurukshetra, leaving 12 passengers injured.